Why should you use credit? How can credit impact your life? What kinds of interest rates and hidden fees should you expect? These are all great questions involving credit and many people have these same questions. If you are curious to learn more about how consumer credit works, then read no further.
Do not use your credit card to make purchases or everyday items like milk, eggs, gas and chewing gum. Doing this can quickly become a habit and you can end up racking your debts up quite quickly. The best thing to do is to use your debit card and save the credit card for larger purchases.
Always review the fine print on your credit card disclosures. If you receive a pre-approved card offer, make sure you understand the full picture. Always be aware of what your interest rates are, as well as the amount of time you have to pay those rates. Research extra fees, as well as grace periods.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
If you have a credit card account and do not want it to be shut down, make sure to use it. Credit card companies are closing credit card accounts for non-usage at an increasing rate. This is because they view those accounts to be lacking in profit, and therefore, not worth retaining. If you don’t want your account to be closed, use it for small purchases, at least once every three months.
Be aware of any changes made to the terms and conditions. Nowadays, many companies frequently change their terms and conditions. A lot of times, these changes are not very clear and concise. Be certain you read what’s out there to see if there are negative changes to your agreement.
Don’t open too many credit card accounts. A single person only needs two or three in his or her name, in order to get a good credit established. More credit cards than this, could actually do more damage than good to your score. Also, having multiple accounts is harder to keep track of and harder to remember to pay on time.
Look into whether a balance transfer will benefit you. Yes, balance transfers can be very tempting. The rates and deferred interest often offered by credit card companies are typically substantial. But if it is a large sum of money you are considering transferring, then the high interest rate normally tacked onto the back end of the transfer may mean that you actually pay more over time than if you had kept your balance where it was. Do the math before jumping in.
Find a credit card that rewards you for your spending. Spend money on the card that you would need to spend anyway, such as gas, groceries and even, utility bills. Pay this card off each month as you would those bills, but you get to keep the rewards as a bonus.
Do not use your credit cards to pay for gas, clothes or groceries. You will find that some gas stations will charge more for the gas, if you choose to pay with a credit card. It’s also not a good idea to use cards for these items because these items are things you need often. Using your cards to pay for them can get you into a bad habit.
If you pay your credit card bill with a check each month, make sure you send that check out as soon as you get your bill so that you avoid any finance charges or late payment fees. This is good practice and will help you create a good payment history too.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards.
Be aware of all of the guidelines about any frequent flier miles offered by your credit card company. Although it’s daunting, read the fine print. There could be numerous blackout dates which might make the reward almost useless to you. Companies also make these restrictions hard to understand for a reason. Credit card companies really don’t want you using their rewards programs. They just offer them to convince you to apply.
It’s smart to notify a credit card issuer if you’ve used your card for abnormal purchases. For example, if you are going out of the country or if you are buying something very expensive, you should tell the credit card company in advance. This can keep your company from raising the identity theft alarm and shutting off your card.
Never do a balance transfer for the wrong reasons. If you have checked out all of the details and it sounds good, you have to make sure it is still worth the hassle. How long have you been with the other company and how much money is this going to save you?
By reading this article you are a few steps ahead of the masses. Many people never take the time to inform themselves about intelligent credit, yet information is the key to using credit properly. Continue educating yourself and improving your own, personal credit situation so that you can rest easy at night.